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Watdo

3L Exchanges: Bay St Articling, Hireback, Bar Pass

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Having secured a 2L summer job at a bay St firm, I intend to submit a 3L fall semester exchange application. I wanted know if I was in the safe for articling if I go on exchange.

 

From what I understand, at the biggest Bay St firms, while there is no explicit guarantee of an articling spot, there should be no worries that you won't be offered to come back for articling? If this is true, does one participate at all in the summer articling recruit during their 2L summer Bay St job?

 

It would be extremely helpful if someone could provide a timeline of what the articling recruitment looks like.

 

Furthermore, would employers frown at seeing the exchange on your transcript when it comes time for hirebacks?

 

Lastly, would an exchange be detrimental to passing the bar exam?

Edited by Watdo

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It is virtually automatic. Think of this. When Heenan collapsed, the firms got together and made sure all the summer students got articling spots elsewhere. That's how automatic it is.

 

Which, of course, is no guarantee in any individual scenario :)

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Plenty of people go on exchange and are fine in the end. I didn't even realize people were worried about such things.

 

The only caveat is that I'd probably advise someone against an exchange semester if they still hadn't secured an articling position by 3L. In that scenario, being away basically takes you out of the running for interviews. 

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Plenty of people go on exchange and are fine in the end. I didn't even realize people were worried about such things.

 

The only caveat is that I'd probably advise someone against an exchange semester if they still hadn't secured an articling position by 3L. In that scenario, being away basically takes you out of the running for interviews. 

 

I agree with this, although I'd have to add that application deadlines make it difficult for a number of students to be confident in taking an exchange semester.  At Western, applications for exchange are due sometime in early January, which is well before most students who struck out at the OCI process will know whether they'll have an articling position secured in time.

 

Students are relegated either to opting for a Spring-term exchange in order to avoid conflicts with formal articling recruitment dates, or hope that they can secure a position some other way, which is by no means a guarantee in Ontario.  In either scenario, students are taking quite a risk, and that was a major reason why a number of people that I know of opted out of an exchange, simply because there was too much uncertainty to plan around.  Incidentally, most 3L students that went on exchange this semester obtained OCI jobs and therefore didn't have to worry about any of this.

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The only caveat is that I'd probably advise someone against an exchange semester if they still hadn't secured an articling position by 3L. 

 

This is implying that your 2L summer (bay) job guarantees you an articling spot?

 

What I fear is having applied to go on exchange, they pull the rug from under me during 2L summer saying you need to look elsewhere for articling

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Nothing is guaranteed. But you probably won't encounter too many bets from this point forward which have a better likelihood of succeeding.

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This is implying that your 2L summer (bay) job guarantees you an articling spot?

 

What I fear is having applied to go on exchange, they pull the rug from under me during 2L summer saying you need to look elsewhere for articling

There are two possible scenarios where that might happen (i) you are literally a drooling idiot who turns in memos written in crayon, or (ii) you're caught by the managing partner rogering his teenage daughter, on his desk, and you kept going. It's a theoretical possibility, but I've never seen it happen.

 

And, at least in the first scenario, if it wereto happen, they'd probably maake a few calls to find you a job somewhere where you're better suited. The firms tend to be pretty decent about stuff like that.

Edited by maximumbob
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Anyone know how firms react if you have a 2L summer job and want to go on exchange somewhere like Aus where semesters start in July?

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Anyone know how firms react if you have a 2L summer job and want to go on exchange somewhere like Aus where semesters start in July?

 

You mean if you have a 2L summer job and tell them you're gonna skip out 4 weeks in to go hang out down under? 

 

Entirely speculation, but I suspect the reaction isn't particularly great. 

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You mean if you have a 2L summer job and tell them you're gonna skip out 4 weeks in to go hang out down under? 

 

Entirely speculation, but I suspect the reaction isn't particularly great. 

 

This is what I assume, but people do this. I was surprised to hear that some firms do not mind. I am asking because it is hard for me to believe that this is the case. 

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I set off the fire alarm and evacuated the entire office tower because I was using pyrotechnics indoors and I still got to article here.  Sooooo, the bar ain't exactly high.

 

Going on 3L exchange is risky, though.  People might be jealous of you.  This one time, I was talking to an articling student who just got back from an exchange in the Netherlands and I was like, "Was it awesome?" and he was like "Yeah", and I was like, screw you that sounds great.

 

Going on exchange during your work for the firm, though, is a completely different story.  It's not impossible; I've known people that arranged to do half their summer in a prestigious research assistantship role.  Just ask yourself what the purpose of the exchange is, and if a firm is going to buy that rationale.  

 

If it's to go learn about international trade law in China, that could be awesome and a firm might say, "Eh, that could be useful and it's just the summer; maybe she'll get some good business contacts out of it."  

 

If it's to go surfing in Australia while studying law and film, it's going to be hard for your employer to see how that's something a future partner would be doing when given an opportunity to make a first impression.

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I set off the fire alarm and evacuated the entire office tower because I was using pyrotechnics indoors and I still got to article here.  Sooooo, the bar ain't exactly high.

 

Going on 3L exchange is risky, though.  People might be jealous of you.  This one time, I was talking to an articling student who just got back from an exchange in the Netherlands and I was like, "Was it awesome?" and he was like "Yeah", and I was like, screw you that sounds great.

 

Going on exchange during your work for the firm, though, is a completely different story.  It's not impossible; I've known people that arranged to do half their summer in a prestigious research assistantship role.  Just ask yourself what the purpose of the exchange is, and if a firm is going to buy that rationale.  

 

If it's to go learn about international trade law in China, that could be awesome and a firm might say, "Eh, that could be useful and it's just the summer; maybe she'll get some good business contacts out of it."  

 

If it's to go surfing in Australia while studying law and film, it's going to be hard for your employer to see how that's something a future partner would be doing when given an opportunity to make a first impression.

 

People can actually go on "exchange" during articling? I've heard of secondments but...... Wat.

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This is implying that your 2L summer (bay) job guarantees you an articling spot?

 

Yes, that's what I'm implying. I've never heard of anyone (personally) who wasn't hired back for at least articling.

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You mean if you have a 2L summer job and tell them you're gonna skip out 4 weeks in to go hang out down under? 

 

Entirely speculation, but I suspect the reaction isn't particularly great. 

I've known a few people who have done that - there were two in my year when I summered, and both ended up being hired back as associates.  Caveat:  That was a long time ago in a very different economic environment. 

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I think you'd have to do something extremely egregious to not be hired back for articling. Think absolutely, shockingly bad. As has been said, not being hired back for articling is unheard of. Not only can I not think of an example..... but I cannot even recall hearing about one through the grapevine. That does not mean being hired back for articling it is a literal guarantee. But almost nothing in life is! Unless you want to go through life being a nervous breakdown worrying about everything that is not statistically impossible, you should sleep easy over this one.

 

Part of it, I assume, is that no firm will want to admit they were "wrong" on a student after just 4 months. 4 months is a very short time span. It's even less when when you consider it takes at least 1/3 of the summer just to not feel completely, 100% incompetent (and even then.... you still feel pretty darn incompetent.... and in fact still will be pretty useless at the practice of law even at the end of your summer term). If you were hired at a big firm, it means you were successful at OCIs, and the firm turned down a lot of strong very qualified candidates in favor of you. If your hire looks so bad after only 4 months that you do not want him or her back for articling, that is going to reflect pretty poorly on the judgement call from those that hired you. 

Edited by happydude

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I know a couple people took off a few weeks earlier than the official end of their summer term to leave for exchange. I believe they were studying in Singapore, where the semester begins in early August. Their firms didn't mind (as they told me.)

 

And plenty of people I knew in upper years went on exchange, came back and didn't have problems during articling/hire back (and are now associates at their firms.) My impression is that firms don't care very much about how 3L goes, provided you don't completely shit the bed and fail a couple of courses, and would care more about your work product during articling!

Edited by Radfahrer

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I think you'd have to do something extremely egregious to not be hired back for articling. Think absolutely, shockingly bad. As has been said, not being hired back for articling is unheard of. Not only can I not think of an example..... but I cannot even recall hearing about one through the grapevine. That does not mean being hired back for articling it is a literal guarantee. But almost nothing in life is! Unless you want to go through life being a nervous breakdown worrying about everything that is not statistically impossible, you should sleep easy over this one.

 

Part of it, I assume, is that no firm will want to admit they were "wrong" on a student after just 4 months. 4 months is a very short time span. It's even less when when you consider it takes at least 1/3 of the summer just to not feel completely, 100% incompetent (and even then.... you still feel pretty darn incompetent.... and in fact still will be pretty useless at the practice of law even at the end of your summer term). If you were hired at a big firm, it means you were successful at OCIs, and the firm turned down a lot of strong very qualified candidates in favor of you. If your hire looks so bad after only 4 months that you do not want him or her back for articling, that is going to reflect pretty poorly on the judgement call from those that hired you. 

More than that, firms who don't hire students back for articling screw them over – because the articling recruit would be done or in progress by the time a firm informed that student. 

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This is implying that your 2L summer (bay) job guarantees you an articling spot?

 

The whole point of giving you a 2L summer job is to lock you down for articling.  It's not like we really need to have 30 law students going to baseball games and taking training sessions in order to drive profits.

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As has been said, not being hired back for articling is unheard of. 

 

I know of two instances. In both cases the conduct that lead to losing articles was egregious.

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I know of two instances. In both cases the conduct that lead to losing articles was egregious.

 

You also have to consider the fact that this things are rarely communicated openly.  Rather, there is a meeting where students are given the suggestion that they begin a search for an articling position. 

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